Originally Posted by smile
I am considering the 802 Diamonds. The series appears to have love/hate constituencies.
I understand they do not measure flat (but don't know the sonic implications).
What are the knocks against the speaker that I should weigh in my decision? Thanks.
I agree with Thrang, you have to listen to them, and even better if you could borrow a pair and listen in your environment. But I can share my recent 802 Diamond experience.
I just got a shiny new pair of Piano Black 802 Diamonds Wednesday. I have a very small room, 10'X12', but I am confident, with the proper room treatment and electronics, these babies will sing. So far, they are a bit boomy, but I anticipated that in this room, and I have sufficient bass traps due to arrive early next week. I am really looking forward to getting the traps installed and playing around with these babies.
I am only about 3 years into this hobby (and I thought having a boat was bad), so I can't really give you some scientific, technical review, I just don't have that in my vocabulary yet...I am eagerly learning more and more every day. But I can share with you why I purchased the 802 Diamonds and how they sound so far.
I was on the fence between the 802 Diamonds and 804 Diamonds. Based on my room size, the 804 Diamonds would be a perfect match. I tried a pair for a couple of weeks and they sounded awesome...but I knew there was better...
So I recently was afforded the opportunity to hear the 802 Diamonds in a great environment, set-up by someone who knew exactly how to maximize their potential. The electronics were modest, Rotel equipment...CD player, pre and 200 watt amp...maybe $5,000 - $6,000 worth of electronics. I have to tell you, it was a stunning experience.
Having owned 684s, CM9s & CM10s for several years, and trying 804 Diamonds for an extended period of time, I was used to the B&W sound...crisp, clear and detailed mids and highs and controlled, accurate bass.
But the 802 Diamonds took my music to an entirely different realm of listening.
To say they sounded incredible would be doing them a tremendous injustice. The soundstage, imaging and detail was nothing short of spectacular...I know now what they mean when they say "make the speakers disappear".
I heard things in the music that I have never heard with any of the previous speakers I have owned or listened to. While putting them through their paces I listened to a wide variety of music, some easily listening acoustic folksy 70s, some progressive rock, some drum heavy bass driven fusion jazz and some extremely bass heavy tribal/techno. Everything sounded incredible, and I just wanted to keep listening. The music with the heavy bass was handled perfectly and was very detailed and revealing. Drum hits that on other speakers sounded like 1 or 2 hits, were now recognized as multiple hits or rolls. Where prior, that level of bass detail was never noticeable.
I don't see a lot of knocks in the 804 Diamonds. I now know their potential, and I know any minor shortcomings I am experiencing now, are 100% due to the room acoustics. And the only real complaint I have is the aforementioned bass...which is clearly my room and not the speakers. I don't know what else you are considering, but prior to going with the 802 Diamonds, I listened to a lot of other brands of the same quality/price. To make sure I was not being a B&W "fan-boy", I listened to Thiel, KEF, Legacy, Focal, Paradigm, McIntosh and several others. My goal was to find out what was better and buy it.
Many of the other brand I listened to were great...but for my taste and my ears, nothing came close to the 802 Diamonds. Now I just have to get this damn room to cooperate.